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3 things to know about construction defects

Undertaking a construction project, big or small, can come with some unique challenges. Not only do you have to find the right property to build on, but you also have to obtain permits, ensure the area can receive utility services, check the zoning laws and hire the right contractor. Unfortunately, even a seasoned contractor with a solid reputation can still make mistakes. In most cases, these mistakes may require minor repairs. However, in some situations, you could find yourself dealing with major construction defects.

Before you begin your construction project, it is important to understand the basics of construction defects. Here are a few things to know about types of defects, contractor duties and prevention.

Two types of defects

In general, there are two types of construction defects. There are the ones that are obvious or known at the time of inspection, often referred to as patent defects. And, there are the ones that are concealed or hard to see, known as latent defects. However, within these two types, construction defects can range anywhere from foundation and framing problems to aesthetics. In addition, construction defects can include failings in both workmanship and design.

Standard of care

There are several parties that could have liability when it comes to construction defects. These include the design professional, contractor and any consultants or subcontractors who worked for designer or contractor. The contactor owes a duty to the client to complete the work in a way that satisfies the terms of the construction contract and since many contracts are central to the process, it is vital that they clearly state the contractor's duties.

Prevention

Usually, all parties to a construction contract want to prevent and avoid defects. This means that it is up to the contractor to follow a quality control program to reduce the risk of defective workmanship. Such a program, if designed and implemented correctly, can allow the contractor to identify and correct problem areas before completing the project. Taking care of possible defects during the construction process can help the contractor avoid litigation.

If you are planning a construction project in the Austin area, it is important to know what to expect from your contractor and understand the risk of construction defects. If things go wrong with your project and you find yourself in a dispute with the contractor over construction defects, keep in mind that you have options. You may be able to take legal action to recover the damages you suffered.

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